Lopsided median LSAT score

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willyj
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Lopsided median LSAT score

Postby willyj » Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:21 pm

What does it mean for a school's competitiveness when the median LSAT for the most recent class is lopsided one way or the other? For example, UVa's 25-75% range is 165-171, but their median is 170; I understand how this can work statistically, I'm more asking whether or not there is a specific reason for this occurrence. Like, how are people with 165's higher than 1 quarter of all the other UVa acceptees? And why should I be worried about my chances when I'm in the meat of their middle 50%, yet below the median?

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D. H2Oman
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Re: Lopsided median LSAT score

Postby D. H2Oman » Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:25 pm

It means you're not going to get in.

Flanker1067
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Re: Lopsided median LSAT score

Postby Flanker1067 » Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:30 pm

D. H2Oman wrote:It means you're not going to get in.

njgal
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Re: Lopsided median LSAT score

Postby njgal » Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:32 pm

I know for UVA there are several reasons for this....
1) UVA likes diversity (like most law schools) especially AA
2) UVA is kind to its undergrads that have done well GPA wise (UVA accepted 84 students from UVA undergrad in 2008-and similar statistics for the years before)
3) Being a public school it takes a fair amount from VA (so if you are from Virginia you can probably be on the lower end)...you see similar trends with schools like UT and Boalt

That being said if you don't fall into one of those 3 categories than you probably have to be near the median

BenJ
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Re: Lopsided median LSAT score

Postby BenJ » Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:36 pm

This happens because UVA is playing the numbers game and trying to up their medians. They are the T14 perhaps best known for trying to manipulate their numbers, although most other schools do so as well. UVA's median LSAT is a 170 while their median UGPA is a 3.85. Therefore, UVA will admit many people with LSATs well below 170 but GPAs at or above 3.85 and will also admit many people with LSATs at or above 170 and GPAs well below 3.85. This loads the bottom half of the LSAT and GPA curves with people far below median.

While a 171/3.4 probably will get in because (s)he improves the LSAT median, a 169/3.8 probably will not get in as both numbers are below median even though the GPA advantage over the admitted student is large while the LSAT disadvantage is small.

The top half is not similarly loaded because (1) many people with much higher LSAT scores or GPAs will get into and attend a higher-ranked school, and (2) UVA practices a policy called yield-protection where they waitlist rather than admit people with numbers well above one or both medians on the assumption that they won't attend anyway. (If all YPed people actually wouldn't attend, this wouldn't affect things, but presumably at least some would attend.) This increases UVA's reported selectivity and explains why their percent admitted is so much lower than schools of similar or even higher ranking.

The bottom 25% LSAT and GPA is also heavy with highly unusual candidates and under-represented minorities.
Last edited by BenJ on Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:42 pm, edited 3 times in total.

dudders
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Re: Lopsided median LSAT score

Postby dudders » Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:37 pm

A lopsided median within the 25/75 LSAT split simply means the 50 percent of the class within the range is not evenly distributed. In the case of UVA and a lot of other top schools, the distribution skews to the higher score. If the 75th percentile LSAT score is 171, and the median is 170, that means a whopping 25 percent of the class has a 170 or 171 (if not a higher percentage, since students above the 75th percentile mark could still have 171 and those below 50 percent could still have 170s).

The reason is because UVA wants the highest GPA/LSAT combinations possible and they're a good enough school that they get thousands of great applicants and get to pick and choose who to accept.

You say "How are people with 165s higher than 1 quarter of all UVa acceptees?" I don't really understand the question - it's a statistical fact you're looking at here. When lined up from bottom LSAT to top LSAT, 25 percent of the class has a 165 or below.

And if your LSAT is below median, it's harsh, but you SHOULD be worried about your chances. Between the median at 170 and 25th percentile at 165, there's probably a lot more 169s than there are 166s. If a school has a 15-20 percent acceptance rate, the 80-85 of applicants that were rejected/waitlisted aren't all at the 0-percent LSAT or below. Schools choose a lot of the candidates at the top of their pool and certainly less at the bottom, but when you get into the middle and bottom of the class there's a whole lot more picking and choosing. Some people with a 3.6 and a 167 will get in, for example, and others won't.

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D. H2Oman
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Re: Lopsided median LSAT score

Postby D. H2Oman » Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:38 pm

dudders wrote:
And if your LSAT is below median, it's harsh, but you SHOULD be worried about your chances. Between the median at 170 and 25th percentile at 165, there's probably a lot more 169s than there are 166s. If a school has a 15-20 percent acceptance rate, the 80-85 of applicants that were rejected/waitlisted aren't all at the 0-percent LSAT or below. Schools choose a lot of the candidates at the top of their pool and certainly less at the bottom, but when you get into the middle and bottom of the class there's a whole lot more picking and choosing. Some people with a 3.6 and a 167 will get in, for example, and others won't.



No, not at UVA, virtually none will.

Tautology
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Re: Lopsided median LSAT score

Postby Tautology » Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:47 pm

willyj wrote:What does it mean for a school's competitiveness when the median LSAT for the most recent class is lopsided one way or the other? For example, UVa's 25-75% range is 165-171, but their median is 170; I understand how this can work statistically, I'm more asking whether or not there is a specific reason for this occurrence. Like, how are people with 165's higher than 1 quarter of all the other UVa acceptees? And why should I be worried about my chances when I'm in the meat of their middle 50%, yet below the median?


They don't have to be 25% of acceptees, just 25% of attendees. That's an important difference.

dudders
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Re: Lopsided median LSAT score

Postby dudders » Wed Jun 30, 2010 2:00 pm

D. H2Oman wrote:
dudders wrote:
And if your LSAT is below median, it's harsh, but you SHOULD be worried about your chances. Between the median at 170 and 25th percentile at 165, there's probably a lot more 169s than there are 166s. If a school has a 15-20 percent acceptance rate, the 80-85 of applicants that were rejected/waitlisted aren't all at the 0-percent LSAT or below. Schools choose a lot of the candidates at the top of their pool and certainly less at the bottom, but when you get into the middle and bottom of the class there's a whole lot more picking and choosing. Some people with a 3.6 and a 167 will get in, for example, and others won't.



No, not at UVA, virtually none will.


True. I was just pulling numbers out of the air for the example. Could've said something more realistic like "a URM with a 3.6 and a 167 might get in, but the rest of us are screwed."




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